View Full Version : Excessive job failures. What to do?


AndreaC
10-12-16, 09:27 PM
Hi Everyone.

I was diagnosed with inattentive ADD at 34 years old in Jan 2008; right after I had my daughter. I'd always felt something wasn't right with me because I couldn't seem to function well on any of the jobs I've had. I'm lacking big time executive functioning skills. I've had several jobs since I graduated from undergrad in 1996. Since that time I've been fired from 4 jobs due to an awful time mgmt, planning, organization and follow-thru. I've also been laid-off 3 times. It's taken a huge toil on my professional life as well as my self-confidence and self-esteem.

Fast-forward to the present. After having been unemployed for 5 mths due to a lay-off, I'm at a new job in a completely different industry. Going into this new job I was filled with anxiety because ADD sabotages most of my jobs and it has caused me not to trust myself or my abilities. I've only been at this new place 3 weeks and my manager got on my case today because I'm not producing as quickly as I should be. Even though I know what I have on my plate, I still struggle with figuring out what to do first. Do I do this top priority thing first or do I handle this urgent email request that's come up? My mgr gave me documents to file away to use as a training resource once training began. When she asked me to pull up the docs on training day, I drew a complete blank. I had no idea what files she was talking about until the next day! I know she's probably disappointed that she hired me. I sound awesome on paper: master's degree, 15+ years of job experience at impressive companies. But when it's time to show and prove is where I always seem to fail.

My self-confidence is shot. The only thing I know I'm good at is creative writing and magazine writing. That's my particular area of gifting and I would love to get into it full time but I don't see that as a REAL option, not with having other mouths to feed besides my own. I don't know what to do. I'm afraid this job is going to end up being another epic failure for me. And I've experienced so many fails, I truly don't know how to succeed at anything.

What methods have any of you put in place to try to succeed at work? Have any of you tried a career coach or other services (besides filing for disability)?

anonymouslyadd
10-13-16, 02:19 AM
Use the graphic attached to gain perspective on prioritizing. An ADD coach worked awesome for me!

You need to look for small successes, which will help build your self-confidence. I've been there for sure.

Look at my thread here (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=100053&highlight=Strategies+ADDer) for strategies to help you.

:grouphug:

Pilgrim
10-13-16, 03:47 AM
I've found that when backed into an economic corner my life gets hard.

I only flourish when doing things that I find I have a particular aptitude for.

Knowing my strengths and weaknesses smooths the road at work.

Understanding how ADD affects my daily routine helps heaps.

Having a doctor/ therapist I can confer with gives me more self confidence.

Not letting my personal failures becoming a drain on me emotionally.

ToneTone
10-13-16, 06:08 PM
So sorry to hear of all this, Andrea C.

What you recount is the ADHD horror story. We get a job that doesn't fit our skills and we don't perform well (even though we're working really hard and worrying even harder) and we lose our jobs ... lose our confidence, lose our momentum ... experience more anxiety and depression and helplessness, have family members get mad at us ... we feel guilty ... and on and on ...

First off, I would say if you can at all afford it, you probably need a weekly therapist, someone who can help you think about the jobs you're getting and who can help you think about the issues you encounter on the job. And some one who can help you sustain and build your confidence. It's funny ... my therapist doesn't focus on ADHD, but in working with him, I have noticed a huge decline in my anxiety. With the decline in my anxiety, I am able to think and organize better. I still make ADHD mistakes on tedious work, but I am so much improved. Plus I'm on meds.

By the way, you don't mention whether you are taking meds and what their effect has been. Meds help many of us get through tedious work that would otherwise overwhelm us.

Ideally you would get a therapist now and each week you would report on a workplace challenge and you'd get some help in thinking through how to respond to the challenge. Thinking alone, while we're stressed, is not good thinking.

There is another issue here ... and again, a good therapist could help you with it. You say you're interested creative writing and magazine writing (those are also my interests!) and then you say that's not a real option ... Well, depends on how you define creative writing. If you mean novel writing, no, you can't get a job that pays you to write novels ... But there are all kinds of organizations that have newsletters that rely on creative writers. At my job, we have multiple in-house newsletters and full-time workers who write these articles. Yes, you'd be writing nonfiction, but lots of in-house writers interview people and write interesting, funny, creative profiles. Plus you might have some other skills that are of use in the workplace.

The challenge is that these jobs that would allow you to use your writing skills aren't as highly advertised or well known as standard jobs. Why do I sense that you're on a standard job that has little leeway for creativity?

One thing to keep in mind is that you donít need a perfect job. All you need is a job that allows you to do well in Ö that job may have some detailed work Ö but it may have lots of work that allows more flexibility. So be careful the all-or-nothing thinking.

One thing that has helped me is that I can say with brutal honesty what my strengths and weaknesses are Ö and I donít even ATTEMPT to do jobs that require heavy use of my weakest skills. At my workplace, the employer is often asking people to sit on committees, join this group or that group Ö Iím clear that I cannot run anything! I cannot chair anything! Ö I canít supervise anyone but myself Ö

I think you need help, maybe vocational help, in finding the jobs that donít overwhelm your weaknesses. But if you can afford it, get to a therapist yesterday. All this disappointment in the workplace is undermining your self esteem, and you need to rebuild that.

Good luck.



Tone

AndreaC
10-15-16, 01:22 AM
Use the graphic attached to gain perspective on prioritizing. An ADD coach worked awesome for me!

You need to look for small successes, which will help build your self-confidence. I've been there for sure.

Look at my thread here (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=100053&highlight=Strategies+ADDer) for strategies to help you.

:grouphug:

Thanks for sharing the strategies, AnonymouslyADD. I'm going to begin implementing some of them. I couldn't open the other link.

AndreaC
10-15-16, 01:25 AM
I've found that when backed into an economic corner my life gets hard.

I only flourish when doing things that I find I have a particular aptitude for.

Knowing my strengths and weaknesses smooths the road at work.

Understanding how ADD affects my daily routine helps heaps.

Having a doctor/ therapist I can confer with gives me more self confidence.

Not letting my personal failures becoming a drain on me emotionally.

I'm the same way. When I'm doing creative and creative non-fiction writing, I thrive. I believe in my skills and others recognize my gift in that area too. That's a great feeling. But everything else I've tried, I suck at.

AndreaC
10-15-16, 01:32 AM
So sorry to hear of all this, Andrea C.

What you recount is the ADHD horror story. We get a job that doesn't fit our skills and we don't perform well (even though we're working really hard and worrying even harder) and we lose our jobs ... lose our confidence, lose our momentum ... experience more anxiety and depression and helplessness, have family members get mad at us ... we feel guilty ... and on and on ...

First off, I would say if you can at all afford it, you probably need a weekly therapist, someone who can help you think about the jobs you're getting and who can help you think about the issues you encounter on the job. And some one who can help you sustain and build your confidence. It's funny ... my therapist doesn't focus on ADHD, but in working with him, I have noticed a huge decline in my anxiety. With the decline in my anxiety, I am able to think and organize better. I still make ADHD mistakes on tedious work, but I am so much improved. Plus I'm on meds.

By the way, you don't mention whether you are taking meds and what their effect has been. Meds help many of us get through tedious work that would otherwise overwhelm us.

Ideally you would get a therapist now and each week you would report on a workplace challenge and you'd get some help in thinking through how to respond to the challenge. Thinking alone, while we're stressed, is not good thinking.

There is another issue here ... and again, a good therapist could help you with it. You say you're interested creative writing and magazine writing (those are also my interests!) and then you say that's not a real option ... Well, depends on how you define creative writing. If you mean novel writing, no, you can't get a job that pays you to write novels ... But there are all kinds of organizations that have newsletters that rely on creative writers. At my job, we have multiple in-house newsletters and full-time workers who write these articles. Yes, you'd be writing nonfiction, but lots of in-house writers interview people and write interesting, funny, creative profiles. Plus you might have some other skills that are of use in the workplace.

The challenge is that these jobs that would allow you to use your writing skills aren't as highly advertised or well known as standard jobs. Why do I sense that you're on a standard job that has little leeway for creativity?

One thing to keep in mind is that you donít need a perfect job. All you need is a job that allows you to do well in Ö that job may have some detailed work Ö but it may have lots of work that allows more flexibility. So be careful the all-or-nothing thinking.

One thing that has helped me is that I can say with brutal honesty what my strengths and weaknesses are Ö and I donít even ATTEMPT to do jobs that require heavy use of my weakest skills. At my workplace, the employer is often asking people to sit on committees, join this group or that group Ö Iím clear that I cannot run anything! I cannot chair anything! Ö I canít supervise anyone but myself Ö

I think you need help, maybe vocational help, in finding the jobs that donít overwhelm your weaknesses. But if you can afford it, get to a therapist yesterday. All this disappointment in the workplace is undermining your self esteem, and you need to rebuild that.

Good luck.



Tone

Wow Tone. You hit the nail on the head! Your 1st paragraph sums up the life I've been living for the past 18 years.

I'm currently not on any ADHD meds. But I plan to start taking them. I also plan to take your advice and seek out a therapist. I can't keep living like this: taking jobs I know I'm not well-suited for; then, in turn, doing a terrible job and ruining my work reputation; letting myself down as well as the folks who believed in me enough to hire me. This cycle has got to stop. Thanks for your advice!

dvdnvwls
10-15-16, 01:33 AM
If you suck at something, see if you can figure out why.

Same for when you're good at something.

Sometimes with ADHD the reasons why we're good or bad at certain things can be odd reasons that others would think of as unimportant or even invalid. Remember that the truth is the truth, regardless of what others may believe.